Google’s YouTube Red Will Let You Watch Videos Ad-Free For $9.99 Per Month

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

YouTube Red gives Game Theorists star MatPat a science-meets-video games show.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – YouTube is launching a subscription plan in the U.S. called Red that combines ad-free videos, new original series and movies from top YouTubers like PewDiePie, and on-demand unlimited streaming music for $10 a month.

SAN FRANCISCO — YouTube just announced a load of new, exclusive, content for its subscription service YouTube Red — and this, of course, includes some gaming-related shows. Red builds on Google’s existing music streaming service by providing ad-free access to YouTube programming, along with features such as the ability to download videos to mobile devices and have music playing in the background while using other mobile apps. Following the Scare PewDiePie reality show announcement, YouTube also mentioned the 360 Project, a new show starring MatPat from the popular web series, Game Theorists. The new plan, called Red, is targeted at those users who frequently click to skip adverts, and will remove them completely for those willing to pay $10 a month.

Today YouTube confirmed that any creator that doesn’t agree to sign its revenue share deal for its new YouTube Red $9.99 ad-free subscription will have their videos hidden from public view on both the ad-supported and ad-free tiers. Red targets YouTube fans who want to skip ads, while giving them a chance to pass along some cash to their favorite video creators, who’ll share in the new revenues. The move shows how YouTube plans to deliver exclusive content to its new $9.99-a-month subscription service as well take a bigger slice of the $3.8 billion gaming-video market away from Twitch, which livestreams gaming content.

The move to a paid-for, ad-free version of the site puts YouTube in line with streaming services such as Spotify that offer both a free and paid-for version of their service. Though turning existing fans into paid subscribers instead of free viewers could earn creators more than the ad revenue, forcing them into the deal seems heavy-handed.

The plan includes exclusive access to new videos launching next year, as well as the YouTube Music Key service – to be called YouTube Music going forward – for music videos. According to Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl at today’s YouTube Red launch event, 99% of content consumed on YouTube will be still available, noting that the vast majority of creators signed the deal. A subscription will eliminate ads from all YouTube services across devices and platforms except for the YouTube Kids app, which is operated separately.

YouTube still intends for advertising revenue to remain its core business, and executives say they believe it could take a while for paid subscribers to grow significantly, but consumer appetite for ad-free experiences is booming. Some reports have suggested the move into subscriptions could be the beginning of a YouTube play to challenge Netflix and Amazon Prime on the video content front, though both remain extremely popular. Ad-blocking software has become popular on personal computers, and Apple’s iOS 9 operating system update last month allowed ad-blocker apps to run on its mobile Safari browser for the first time. Worldwide usage of ad blockers rose 41 percent last year to nearly 200 million people, according to PageFair, a firm that seeks to counter ad blockers. Internet radio giant Pandora Media Inc. made $54.6 million on subscription and other revenue in the quarter through June, mainly from its $5 a month ad-free plan, Pandora One.

Hulu launched a “No Commercials” plan in September for $4 more per month than its regular $8 subscription, and TuneIn added a premium tier for $8 a month in August that throws ad-free music together with audio books and sports play-by-play coverage. However, I’ve received unconfirmed word from YouTube that isn’t exactly how it works, so stand by regarding what this means for Play Music rights holders. CEO Tim Cook told a technology conference this week that Apple Music has 6.5 million paying subscribers and millions more still on free trials following its launch at the end of June. Google has been criticized before for using its massive reach inappropriately, especially around how Google+ and Google Places have received priority in search results.

Now it’s clear that YouTube is prioritizing what it calls a “consistent” user experience where content is always available in its free and paid service over the wishes of the content owners themselves.

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